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There are many benefits of earth houses, but there are also disadvantages. One of these is the lack of ventilation, which can lead to mold. Another is that earth houses are dark. However, architects can counter these disadvantages by incorporating artificial light. As a result, earth homes are becoming increasingly popular as affordable, energy efficient and durable homes.
Earth Homes are Less Expensive
While earth homes are more expensive to build than conventional houses, the long-term savings outweigh the upfront cost.
Earth homes also require less construction materials, as compared to conventional homes. Earth homes are usually built using rammed earth, which is a mixture of clay and earth compressed using a rammer. They also use insulation, and some earth home companies use local dirt from the site of the home.
Earth Homes are Energy efficient
Many earth homes use passive solar design to reduce fuel consumption. The earth's temperature acts like a blanket to keep the home cooler than above ground. Similarly, an earth home is durable, lasting for centuries and even millennia. And because it is made of natural materials, it is airtight and insulated, causing less heat to escape.
In addition to reducing energy costs, earth-sheltered homes are also more aesthetically pleasing. These homes can be built into the landscape, leaving more space for yards and wildlife. They also require minimal maintenance. There is no need to paint exterior siding, or re-roof every few years. You won't even need to clean the gutters in the spring and summer.
An Earth House home can use up to 20% less energy than a typical home, and it can reduce carbon output by one tonne per year. And it can save more by installing high-efficiency appliances. Adding a solar powered energy system can save an additional four tonnes of carbon each year.
Another benefit of earth-sheltered homes is their high thermal mass. Earth-sheltered houses can be built with rammed earth walls and a concrete slab. The rammed earth walls are thick and provide excellent insulation. The correct orientation and placement of windows can further help with insulation and proper temperature levels.
The cost of building an earth-sheltered home is higher than a traditional home, but in the long run, the savings will be substantial. This is because the earth absorbs heat and reduces outside air infiltration. This means that the indoor temperature stays consistent, thus reducing the need for central heating and cooling.
Earth-sheltered homes can also be cooler than conventional homes because of their sod covering. The temperature inside an earth-sheltered home stays in the low seventies even during the summer months, allowing people to enjoy a comfortable temperature without having to worry about astronomical utility bills. In addition to being cooler, earth-sheltered homes don't suffer from the humidity, which is commonly observed in conventional homes.
Earth Homes are Durable
Earth houses are a great way to preserve the natural landscape and vegetation surrounding your home. These homes can be built on a new lot or on your existing land. They also serve as a thermal mass, absorbing heat during the day and slowly releasing it at night. This helps maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.
These homes can be built almost anywhere in the world and are an eco-friendly alternative to conventional homes. However, they require specialized design skills to ensure structural integrity and waterproofing. They are expensive to build but have a high resale value because they blend into the landscape. Depending on what materials are used, earth homes may have a high or low green rating.
Earth homes are an excellent option for those who want to build a home off the grid but still have all the modern conveniences. They are completely self-sufficient in terms of electricity and water, and they use recycled and salvaged materials. In addition, these homes can be heated by solar panels or passive heating systems. They also provide excellent insulation throughout the year without requiring excessive amounts of energy.
Earth homes are also extremely energy efficient. Due to the constant temperature of the earth, conventional heating and cooling equipment is not required. This means that you will remain comfortable during the summer and warm in the winter, and you will save money on your energy bills. Earth homes also offer natural soundproofing, which is particularly helpful if you live near busy areas.